Copyright Chris Frost 2019 | All Rights Reserved




In 1987, I found myself in Cairo and discovered Shakshuka, a spicy egg-based dish I have since encountered throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Some culinary historians suggest that Shakshuka originated in North Africa, possibly in Tunisia or Libya. The name "Shakshuka" itself is thought to come from the Arabic word "shakshek," which means "to shake" or "to mix."
The dish likely spread to the Middle East, where variations of it are found in countries like Israel, Yemen, and Egypt. Shakshuka is often associated with Jewish and North African cuisines, and it has become a popular breakfast dish.
My version includes red chillis, which may not have been included in the version of this dish I ate in Cairo.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Appetizer, Breakfast, brunch
Cuisine egyptian, middle eastern
Calories 250 kcal


  • 1 small cast iron skillet with lid


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (finely chopped)
  • 3 whole bell peppers (red or green, finely chopped)
  • 3 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 fresh red chilli (chopped)
  • 8 ripe tomatoes (chopped or 1 can (800g) crushed tomatoes)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds
  • 7-8 fresh eggs


  • Salt and black pepper to taste


  • 1 tbsp coriander (chopped)


Sauté Vegetables

  • Heat olive oil in a large, deep skillet or pan over medium heat.
  • Add finely chopped onions, red chilli and bell peppers. Sauté until the vegetables are soft and the onions are translucent.
  • Add minced garlic and sauté for another minute until fragrant.
  • Stir in ground cumin, ground coriander, sweet paprika, nigella seeds and cayenne pepper. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes to toast the spices.

Tomato Sauce

  • Add the chopped tomatoes to the skillet. Simmer the mixture for about 15-20 minutes until the tomatoes break down, and the sauce thickens.
  • Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Make Wells for Eggs

  • Create small wells in the tomato sauce using the back of a spoon.

Poach Eggs

  • Crack an egg into each well. Cover the skillet and allow the eggs to poach in the simmering tomato sauce until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny. This may take about 5-7 minutes.

Garnish and serve

  • Garnish the Shakshuka with chopped fresh parsley or cilantro.
  • Serve Shakshuka directly from the skillet, ensuring each person gets a portion of eggs with some of the rich, flavorful tomato sauce. Provide crusty bread or pita for dipping.


This traditional Shakshuka is a delightful and hearty dish, perfect for breakfast, brunch, or any time of the day. Enjoy!x
Keyword shakshuka

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